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It ain't over
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I put over 300K miles on a Corolla. Most of it was running up/down the freeway between N. MN to St. Paul and. I didn't baby that car - 75 on cruise was constant. At times I'd get into the left late during rush hour - 90mph. The car didn't like to run much over 75 - cars let you know where they are comfortable.

Tires are the only problem I ever had with that car. Yes, a couple brake pad changes, etc. - maintenance. But the car would develop an audible 'thump'. I could actually hear it and feel it in the seat of my pants. I kept thinking it was tire balance. I'd get them rebalanced and the
thump would change - but stay the same. In retrospect it was that the bad tire was put onto a different corner of the car.

I ran Goodyear, Goodrich, Firestone - all had the same or similar problem. I once bought new tires at Walmart - the tech said I one of my tires had a broken steel belt. One would think that dedicated tire shops would have found that over the first 200K miles.

I put on a better quality tire than factory original rating and had no further problems. I wanted Michelin - but they are generally a harder compound. Between hours on end of high-speed interstate travel and snowy roads in N. MN I wanted a compromise. So I stuck with the three manufacturer's above.

I don't think the problem was the fault of the manufacturers. I kept good tread on the car. But I thought a lighter car like a Corolla could get by with a lesser tire - like original equipment. But I went to a better quality model - I think it was Goodyear - and had no problems the last 100K+ miles. This is just my experience.

I'm now retired and stick pretty much to my home area. I still get better quality tires than came on my current Corolla. And this includes a higher speed rating.

I say get the higher rating.

Note; Walmart for tires? Yes - they're like cow sh*t - they're all over the country. In my 200 mile commute I was never more than 50 miles from a Walmart. My warranty was never questioned. I could stop at any one of them for rotation, etc.

Of the three brands I stuck to, Firestone seemed to be the most problematic. They were a big sales outlet in a city near me. I think they knew the tires had broken belts but didn't want to replace tires for me. I don't think most Walmart employees understood the problem - except the one who told me about it. Imagine blowing a tire at 80mph in the middle of traffic! Yikes!
 

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Speed rating is only one part - What is the rest of the information on each tire?

Load rating, tread wear, traction and temperature

Which tire has the better rating for traction and temperature would be more important to me than the speed rating - as long as the speed rating covers how fast the car can go.

I refuse to buy anything not rated A

I will guess the H rated tire is higher - but either way I would pick the tire with the higher rating for traction and temperature.
But I would also then take tread wear into consideration if both are rated A for traction and temperature.


The Michelins Primacy MXM4 that came on my wife's RDX were V rated - 149 MPH - tread wear was rated at 500 traction and temperature both A

They lasted about 16,500 miles - two were down to 4/32 of an inch -

So when I replaced them I went with Michelin Defender LTX with an H speed rating (130 MPH) tread wear 720 traction and temperature both A

NO WAY will we ever go over 130 MPH - unless I drive over a cliff!

With 7K miles on the new tires they still look new -


Everything is a trade off - IMHO speed rating is about the least important thing - of course as long as the rating is within your car speed.
 

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Well I'll Be Dipped!!!
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28,833 Posts
Toyota runs P 195 /65 R15 tires on that series of Corolla. I don't intend on cheaping out, but I have a choice of speed rating without any difference in price.
I was checking Tirerack.com, for her car model/year. The number of tires available in the size for the car is huge, 95 different choices.

Get the higher speed rating. The car will stop and handle better.
 

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25,240 Posts
Excellent answer ... the manufacturer designs the car for the expected average driver.
That’s why you consider changes for the driver. Is there a lot of rain that you drive in? Seldom snow? (That melts same day). A tire designed for wet roads, harder compound if you drive a lot in Warmer climates and don’t go fast. (One car I bought the factory tires would break free on dry pavement doing speed limit on tight curves.) 80k miles still plenty of tread. I changed tires. MUCH nicer driving car for me.

Higher speed ratings(H in this case) tend to handle and brake slightly better while lower ratings tend to have a slightly more comfortable ride and a bit slower tread wear. Doubt you'll really notice a difference on a Corolla.

Personally I wouldn't worry about car tires aging out unless she's only driving 4,000 miles a year. FYI if she's driving somewhere with ice/snow those tires have pretty mediocre ratings for winter/snow driving as well as tread wear on Tire Rack.
Depends where you live, does it go under cover? CO outside is murder on tires. 10 yrs they are unsafe to drive. MN 20 yr old tires on car parked in shed when possible. No concerns.
Just drove on 2003 tires over 1000 miles. Low 70 mph majority. Rain, sleet. Out in CO they likely won’t last 4 yrs outside before I will replace them.
 

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I was checking Tirerack.com, for her car model/year. The number of tires available in the size for the car is huge, 95 different choices.

Get the higher speed rating. The car will stop and handle better.

I will just add -

The higher speed rating will most likely handle and stop better VS the lower speed rating when both are new -

But if the H rated tire is better because of a softer tread - the dynamics could change after you put 10 or 15K miles on them -

As an example

Would you rather have an H rated tire with 5/32 of tread left or a T rated tire with 7/32 tread left?

We really need the complete rating of both tires to help make a better decision -
 
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